If you are ever just walking down the street wondering, “If only I could book an up-and-coming DJ for my next party”or “if only someone would appreciate my incredible DJ skills” We’ve got good news for you. With the emergence of Gigwax, any DJ related problems you may have has finally been solved!
Gigwax is the first ever platform that serves both DJ’s and those seeking a DJ. Calling themselves the Airbnb for DJ’s, Amaury Meunier, cofounder and CEO walks us through this new exciting platform.
Tell us about the product or service.
Gigwax is a DJ booking marketplace that enables anyone to easily discover, book, and pay an amazing DJ for their event. In other words, Gigwax connects up-and-coming DJs with gigs in their city, giving them an opportunity to get booked directly, play live, build their fan base, securely collect payments, and enhance their careers from reviews written by the hosts themselves.
The mainstream explosion of electronic dance music can be seen firsthand through festivals like EDC Vegas and Ultra Music Festival which sell out within seconds, and through DJs like Calvin Harris and Avicii – now among the highest earning musicians in the world. DJs are the new rock stars, and the barriers to become one have never been this low. There are about 40 million amateur and professional DJs in the world but there is still an entire community of talented musicians that has not yet been tapped into. Local bars and small venues (a couple thousand in NYC alone) need to hire local DJs who can spin great beats and bring in a crowd. Private parties regularly need a DJ to entertain guests. Yet a seamless and comprehensive platform to discover, book, pay, and review DJs online does not exist. For these reasons, we decided to tackle this problem and started Gigwax.
How is it different?
What differentiates Gigwax from other music booking solutions is instead of following the traditional, agency-like model, it is a free online marketplace, more in tune with the gig economy model. Rather than acting as another middleman, Gigwax empowers DJs to become their own boss, and gives hosts the tools to easily find and book the right DJ for their event. The main features allowing this include:
- Management tool for DJs. DJs connect their Soundcloud account to showcase their music on their profile. They can apply to available events and shows around town, or respond to direct booking inquiries by venues or hosts.
- Interactive selection process for venues and For both public and private events, venues and planners can browse the DJ community, message, book and pay DJs in a couple of clicks.
- Reviews to foster trust between DJs and hosts. Gigwax fosters fresh talent and draws a crowd for venues looking to pack an otherwise empty house. Reviews are included in each DJ’s profile and they are rated based on quality of music and presence, categorized by a specific gig or event to better track performance.
- Fast and secure payments for everyone. Gigwax’s hassle-free system processes and collects payments using only a credit or debit card (via Stripe). DJs no longer have to chase after checks for weeks. They can also generate online invoices offering an optimized CC payment flow for their external bookings. Hosts also have peace of mind and do not have to worry about no-shows or mediocre performance since Gigwax holds payment until the services are rendered complete and satisfactory.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The market we want to streamline is the local live music industry. The size of the market is about $17 billion in the U.S. alone and it hasn’t been unlocked yet. Think of all the private event hosts who would rather have live music over their iPod dock!
What is the business model?
Hosts pay a 10% commission based on booking fee and for now DJs can use the service for free. As we add commonly requested DJ features, we are planning to launch an optional tiered subscription model with varying levels of benefits starting from free to $9.90/month, and $19.90/month.
All of us have worked in the music industry in some capacity, and as DJs, promoters, and live music enthusiasts, we’ve all felt the pain surrounding the booking process. Most gigs are booked word of mouth, or through personal connections, an agent or agency. We wanted to build something that would allow anyone to book and get discovered in the most effective way. The inefficiency of middlemen is being disrupted in numerous industries (like Airbnb, Uber) but it hasn’t happened yet in live music.
By digitizing and optimizing this market, our end goal is to bring better live music in front of everyone, everywhere!
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We’re hard at work understanding and building the right features for our users. During the last six months, we have organically gathered and retained the interest of thousands of DJs and bookers. We plan to deploy our growth strategy and roll out in other cities across the US by the end of the year.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” – Hunter S. Thompson
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Steve Schlafman – The resources he put together are so helpful, specifically his “Guide to NY Tech Scene” inspired me to make the entrepreneurial jump. With his experience in the music, tech scenes, his interest in marketplaces, and our shared values, he’d be our ultimate mentor!
Why did you launch in New York?
New York has a thriving live music scene. It’s also the epicenter of so many other industries- law, fashion, advertising, finance, entertainment, nightlife, and more recently, tech as well. It’s the “city that never sleeps” and we wanted to launch here not only because we live and perform here as DJs, but also because there is a huge demand of gigs we can digitize here. With over 10,000 bars and clubs, 10 million people, and parties every night, we think the New York scene could be improved with the creativity of live musicians rather than running Pandora on iPods.
Where is your favorite outdoor bar in the city for a drink when it is actually warm out?
Freehold in South Williamsburg. We are a pretty competitive bunch and they provide games like ping pong, cornhole, and buck hunter on top of a nice selection of beer. Also you’ll definitely hear some good beats since our DJs perform there on a regular basis.